Lois Elizabeth van Löben Sels Bunse passed away on December 26th, 2020. She was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1940, to Maurits van Löben Sels and Beth Sutherland van Löben Sels. After living in Fort Lewis, Washington, and Montreal, Canada, her family returned to Maury’s home state and settled in Menlo Park, California in 1946. As a child, she grew into the nickname, Loie, and tested the boundaries of the creeks, playgrounds, and her parents. She remains “Loie” to her sisters Dorothy van Löben Sels Malutta and Sally van Löben Sels Malast and their families.
She was Lois while at Willamette University where she made many lifelong friends, and fell for art and her former husband Dale Bunse. She graduated in 1962, earned a teaching certificate from Oregon College in Monmouth, and then taught elementary school. Loie and Dale lived together for 30 years -- at first in Oregon, then in Arizona and Tennessee, before returning west to settle in Jamestown, California in 1971. She is Mom to Meta Bunse, and Garth Bunse and his wife Wendy Robinette Bunse. For Eli Robinette Bunse she was Grandma GG -- a nickname she chose herself.
Living in the Sierra foothills, Lois was inexhaustible and took on numerous titles during the next three decades. She was a dance instructor, librarian, writing teacher, gardener, baker, and protector of hens. She waved with equal skill: hammers, paint brushes, sling shots and shovels. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing studying with Raymond Carver, Stan Rice, and others at San Francisco State University. Lois bloomed into an insightful poet and can be heard reading some of her work at: http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/poets/
Loie returned with enthusiasm to her first nickname and moved to the Oregon coast in the early 2000s, loving the fellow writers and artists she found there. In Newport, Loie volunteered at the aquarium, the performing arts center, and the visual arts center. She returned to visual art influences like Carl Hall, and began to paint with a passion. As she studied and explored with visual art and painting, she signed her oils and watercolors Loie.
An online memorial is planned for February 20, 2021. If you would like to attend, send an email to [email protected] In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Yaquina Art Association or the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.